Demand for vocational skills clear at Worldskills

Saint-Gobain sponsors WorldSkills 2011

As a sponsor of the largest ever international skills competition, Saint-Gobain has reinforced its commitment to industry training and development with its involvement in WorldSkills 2011.

The leading international construction materials company was a sponsor of the four day vocational competition, which attracted competitors from over 50 countries and 200,000 visitors this year, including a number of high profile celebrities and dignitaries.  

Several of its UK companies also supported the event by providing materials for a number of the construction related skills contests.  Plaster and plasterboard solutions manufacturer British Gypsum was the presenting sponsor of the Plastering & Drywall Systems competition and also supported the UK entrant Jamie Fineran after funding was withdrawn for the category. Gyproc Ireland also sponsored Irish competitor, Gary Condon so he too could take part. International Timber, the leading distributor of sustainable timber, was the official supplier of the Joinery, Carpentry and Cabinetmaking competition, while Weber, manufacturer of facades, construction mortars, flooring systems and tile fixings supplied the Wall & Floor Tiling contest.

Having been hotly contested by 10 competitors from around the world, the Plastering and Drywall Systems competition saw Ireland’s Gary Condon take gold, closely followed by Gyu Jun Han from Korea and Rosina Ebneter from Switzerland. Gary won the competition after creating an impressive replica of Big Ben from plaster. UK entrant Jamie Fineran received a Medallion for Excellence for his outstanding efforts.  

Of the 200,000 visitors, many tried their hand at the various vocational skills available, including plastering and drywalling. The team running the Saint-Gobain ‘Have a Go’ area was inundated with people wanting to see if they too could become master plasterers and pursue a career within the construction industry.

Lindsey Walker, strategic marketing leader, comments: “Being involved with WorldSkills 2011 has been a great experience for us and reinforced how important vocational training is to both young people and industry. It was also encouraging to see such interest in the ‘Have a Go’ area as it demonstrated that there is a real demand for careers within the construction industry.

“I think that Jamie’s performance during competition will inspire many people as he performed incredibly well and we’re proud of what he has achieved.”

For further information about Saint-Gobain visit

Demand for vocational skills clear at Worldskills